By: 24 December 2019
Gordons and KPMG support garden centre acquisitions

Gordons and the Leeds office of KPMG have helped Lincolnshire-based British Garden Centres to acquire 24 garden centres.

Gordons commercial property specialist James Kimberley and corporate partner Duncan Firman, along with KPMG’s tax director Nathan Potton, advised on the multi-million pound deal.

The sites were acquired from Wyevale Garden Centres, with the majority located across the South East England. They will be operated by a newly incorporated entity, BGC South, established during the transaction following investment from Antony Harker, a well-known figure in the garden centre industry.

Acquired as part of British Garden Centres’s ongoing expansion strategy, the business run by the Stubbs family is headquartered in Brigg and now has 57 sites across the UK. The company aims to maximise the potential of each centre and anticipates creating further employment opportunities.

Commenting on the acquisitions, Harker said: “This is a significant portfolio of centres for us to acquire and we were delighted to be able to exchange contracts on the acquisitions within just two weeks.”

“We were impressed throughout the process by the commercial, straightforward approach taken by everyone we dealt with at Gordons and KPMG. They consistently gave user-friendly advice on what was a complex deal due to the number of centres involved and the incredibly short timeframe.”

“These acquisitions have accelerated British Garden Centres’s continued growth. It is an exciting time for the business and our people and we look forward to maximising the potential of our new centres.”

Nathan Potton, director in KPMG’s private client advisory team in Leeds, advised on the tax structuring of the investment together with Jo Joyce, Callum Richards and Dominic Rayner.

Potton said: “Advising serial entrepreneurs to help them to invest in ambitious businesses in Yorkshire and beyond is a great part of our job. Assessing the tax implications of any investment may primarily be focussed on the long term but working to a short time frame is critical on fast paced transactions like this one. Our ability to collate a multi-disciplinary tax team was an important factor in delivering on this deal.”

Kimberley of Gordons added: “British Garden Centres is a thriving business and these acquisitions have ideally positioned it for further expansion. The deal required a huge amount of focus and was a real team effort across the firm.”

“We pride ourselves on being able to act with pace and precision. It was these qualities, as well as working collaboratively with KPMG, which enabled us to exchange contracts within two weeks of being instructed.”